Luxembourg MP was Soviet and US double agent

Photo: Guy Jallay

(CS/jm) ADR MP Fernand Kartheiser is said to have worked as a double agent for both the Soviet secret service and the CIA in the 1980s.

The news was broken by local newspaper “d'Lëtzebuerger Land”, and Kartheiser confirmed the information to the “Luxemburger Wort”.

“When I was studying at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna in 1986 and 1987, the secret service of the Soviet Union tried to recruit me,” the Conservative politician said. He then turned to the Luxembourg secret service (SREL) for help.

Kartheiser said that then director Charles Hoffmann asked him whether he could imagine being a double agent, a role which Kartheiser claims to have fulfilled until the end of the Cold War, delivering information from Soviet sources to the SREL and the CIA.

The MP spoke of a “successful operation” for the Luxembourg secret service. “In times, in which many demand the abolition of the intelligence service, this matter shows that counterintelligence can be very important for a small country like Luxembourg,” Kartheiser concluded.

The revelation comes as Luxembourg is engaged in a thorough examination of the activities of the country's secret service. A parliamentary enquiry commission has been hearing former directors of the SREL, as well as politicians and other prominent figures.

Premises of the secret service in Luxembourg have been searched by authorities, which are investigating allegations of illegal wire tapping and spying on members of Luxembourg's political elite.

At the same time a law suit in connection to the so-called “Bommeleeër Affair”, a series of bombings in Luxembourg in the 1980s, has raised questions about the SREL and possible failures in the investigation to capture the culprits.